Bring You Home

Imag­i­na­tive puzzle game

Mac|Life - - CONTENTS - Craig Gran­nell

$2.99 From Alike Stu­dio, bringy­ouhome­ Made for iPhone, iPad Needs iOS 8.0 or later

The iPad’s large dis­play can en­able im­mer­sive, tac­tile experiences that don’t work on tra­di­tional gam­ing sys­tems. Bring You Home is a case in point, re­think­ing plat­form puz­zling by hav­ing you di­rectly ma­nip­u­late the en­vi­ron­ment rather than the pro­tag­o­nist.

Said pro­tag­o­nist is Polo, a blue alien who’s just seen his pet kid­napped by vil­lains who then dis­ap­pear via a por­tal. Polo sets off in pur­suit, falls from a sec­ond­floor win­dow, and face­plants on the ground.

For­tu­nately for Polo, time then rewinds, and you are in­vited to save his dig­nity and face. Tap the play but­ton and Polo’s fall is bro­ken. He then leaps through the por­tal to find him­self in a jun­gle. Clam­ber­ing up a vine, it snaps, and Polo is in trouble again. This time, there are four op­tions — gi­ant mush­rooms, pink beasts with dan­gly tails to grab, and a spiky plant that might work as a “lad­der”…

At this point, you might think it’s go­ing to be a cinch to get that pet back, but Bring You Home quickly ramps up the dif­fi­culty. Scenes in­tro­duce mul­ti­ple pan­els, some that move, and mul­ti­step so­lu­tions. Sin­gle-screen scenes be­come com­plex webs, where set­ting Polo off in a par­tic­u­lar di­rec­tion may re­sult in a de­cid­edly un­ex­pected out­come. Some­times, the logic is a touch sus­pect, and you might won­der, on see­ing Polo killed sev­eral times in a row, if Bring You Home is too re­liant on trial and er­ror.

Re­ally, though, what you’re do­ing is test­ing a sys­tem. You try some­thing, note how this af­fects the out­come, and fig­ure out how tweaks might change things. Only a cou­ple of times dur­ing the game does this be­come try­ing. Mostly, it’s a joy, and much of that is down to su­perb an­i­ma­tion, and a lot of imag­i­na­tion.

Even fail­ure is re­ward­ing, since Polo’s demise is of­ten en­ter­tain­ing in it­self.

the bot­tom line. A won­der­ful, tac­tile, in­ven­tive puzzle game that is a joy to play.

Cor­rectly or­der frames and reach the exit, or err and watch fail­ure an­i­ma­tions. Ei­ther’s good.

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